I have found that I am most productive and feel best on the days that get started right. I’m sure you are too. As a creature of habit, I have tried to create a morning routine that captures the elements of my best mornings and rolls them into one routine that I can put in place day in and day out. What I am proposing is my ideal routine. It may not be yours. Hopefully, you can put this into practice for you, adapt it to your life or use it as an inspiration to get your morning routine down. My only hope is that this makes your days better.
5:00 am - Wake Up
For some of you this might sound way too early, but I know I am much more productive when I’m up early and have my personal time before the rest of the world gets going. If I can get done the things I want to do before the demands of life start tugging on me, then I can give those demands the attention they deserve and feel better about myself during the rest of the day. Here is a great list of some highly successful people who also start their day early.
I start the day with some meditation. This is the perfect way to get myself centered and ready to cope with anything that might arise during the day. I highly recommend Headspace as an app for guided meditations. The benefits of meditation are widely touted and easily found on the Internet, but I think this page really sums it up nicely.
After I meditate I work out or read, depending on my exercise schedule. I've had gym memberships in the past, and tried the heavy lifting thing for a while. I spent a year and a half at different Crossfit boxes. Both were great experiences, and both provided results. However, I hated swallowing that $150+ pill every month. Thus began my love of kettlebells. Nothing, in my opinion, provides a more complete workout in less time than these Russian dumbbells. The secret is in the odd center of gravity which causes more muscles to work that with other evenly balanced equipment. For some great starting points on an exercise plan, I would recommend Breaking Muscle. When you’re ready to buy some kettlebells for yourself, I think these are a fantastic deal. The beauty of these is that they’re Amazon Prime eligible. One of the biggest drawbacks to ordering kettlebells online is the shipping cost, due to the weight. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, then 2-day shipping is free!
6:00 am - Shower and Shave
Have you ever seen window washers cleaning a skyscraper? They don’t start at the ground floor and work their way up. They start at the penthouse and work down. Why? So all the dirty water dripping down doesn't ruin their freshly cleaned windows. I suggest you shower this way too. Start with some shampoo and rinse as directed. Then use your favorite conditioner, but leave it in while you wash your body so your hair can absorb the conditioner. Rinse everything off and wash your face. Leave your face wash on for about thirty seconds to a minute to let the acids (hopefully glycolic acid) perform a little exfoliation. This will clean your skin and free up your facial hairs for a closer shave. Finish up your shower with a “Scottish Shower”. Turn your shower cold and rinse off for a few minutes. This centuries-old tradition hosts many health benefits. Here are the products currently in my shower:
Shampoo - Malin + Goetz Peppermint Shampoo
Conditioner - Malin + Goetz Cilantro Conditioner
Next, on to my shave. I usually soak my brush in hot water during my shower so it’s ready to go when I’m out. Then I apply my pre-shave and let it sit on for a few minutes while preparing my lather. Typically I only run through two passes: One with the grain (WTG) and one across the grain (ATG) with a second ATG pass along my neck. I rinse the excess lather off with some warm water. Then splash some cold water on my face before I rub a wet Alum Bloc over the shaved area. I clean my brush and shaving area while letting the alum sit and then rinse that off with some more cold water. I finish the shave up with the Geo. F. Trumper Skin Food. Finally, I spray two sprays of cologne on my chest before getting dressed. Any more than two, and it’s too overpowering. A good rule with cologne is that it should only be smelled by people that you want close to you. I have a good mix of shaving soaps and creams and a few colognes, but here are my most typically used products:
Pre-Shave - Proraso Pre Shave Cream
Cologne - Green Irish Tweed by Creed
7:00 am - Breakfast
I usually rotate my mornings between a green smoothie from the Vitamix and a simple Paleo breakfast of bacon, eggs, fruit and black coffee. A superb resource for new and delicious green smoothie recipes is Simple Green Smoothies. Jadah and Jen put together some easy recipes that you can’t mess up! You can also check them out on Pinterest. There are many, many, many websites devoted to the Paleo diet/lifestyle. Two of the best are Robb Wolf and Mark’s Daily Apple. I definitely recommend visiting either one of these.
8:00 am - Face the Day!
You’re now ready to face whatever comes your way armed with the confidence that you look good, smell good, and are mentally prepared. Plus you have the confidence from doing all this before most people were awake! Go forth!
Tailor and Barber